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Halifax Council Changes Mind on Limiting Number of Pets!

August 1st, 2007, 11:04 PM
Yes!! Halifax's Regional Council - who were debating a proposed law that would limit the number of cats(and pets) in a home has changes its mind and will now NOT enact the law as originally stated. The number set was three - and since I have 4, this caused me some concern. Many pet owners complained though - and while there are some horrid owners and bad backyard breeders out there, many of whom already flaunt current laws that protect pets - were not going to be affected (really, would they honour a new law when they already disregard cruelty laws?) by this new one.

Here is the article:

Council turns tail on limiting pet numbers

Proposed bylaw passes first reading after amendment

By AMY PUGSLEY FRASER City Hall Reporter | 5:33 AM

It’s not up to city hall to tell you how many cats and dogs you can have, Halifax regional councillors decided last night.

So if you have more than three cats or dogs at home, don’t worry. You won’t have to choose which ones you like best.

In an about-face at their meeting last night, regional councillors voted to remove the three-of-a-kind limitations proposed in an upcoming bylaw called "Responsible Pet Ownership."

Coun. Stephen Adams (Spryfield-Herring Cove) threw the curveball and asked fellow councillors to remove the limit.

"There is no right number as to what is appropriate," he said, adding that it’s not up to council to legislate a number.

Coun. Steve Streatch (Eastern Shore-Musquodoboit Harbour) said that limiting pets flies in the face of common sense and forces city hall to overstep its boundaries.

"A cat that has a litter of kittens in a home is going to be contrary to what we’re suggesting and where does that leave somebody? All of a sudden you’ve got to tell your children, ‘Well, this little kitten and this little kitten have to be disposed of, but quite frankly you can keep these three.’

"I’m not in favour of that at all."

Coun. Patrick Murphy (Halifax North End) said the very name of the bylaw explains it all.

"Responsible pet ownership is the key here, and if you have a responsible pet owner with four dogs and this passed, then he would have quite a decision to make, wouldn’t he?"

He said the city will be better served by going after irresponsible pet owners. "The ones with maybe 47 cats in one house or something."

But Coun. Jim Smith (Albro Lake-Harbourview) — who several years ago introduced the idea of a bylaw governing the number of cats and dogs that people can house — said limits need to be put in place.

Coun. Mary Wile (Clayton Park West) agreed.

"I know for a fact that there are areas in my district that have 10 cats and these cats are wandering all over the neighbourhood, digging in neighbours’ gardens so if you are going to eliminate (the limit), then I will insist that these cats be all leashed on the property and not allowed to leave the property at any time."

Coun. Gloria McCluskey (Dartmouth Centre) welcomed removing the limits.

"By moving this tonight, we’ll cut the public hearing down to about seven days from 14," she said with a chuckle.

Now that council has moved first reading of the bylaw, the next hurdle is to achieve second reading.

Coun. David Hendsbee (Preston-Lawrencetown-Chezzetcook) plans to bring another last-minute amendment to that stage. He told council he plans to ask that pets with micro-chips or tattoos be exempt from licence requirements.

Before the proposed bylaw is passed, a public hearing — likely in the fall — will be held at city hall.

Also on the theme of dogs, regional council approved a staff proposal to launch an aggressive public relations campaign to get more people to licence their dogs. Currently, less than 10 per cent of people comply.

The money gained will be used to cover the animal control program, which last year responded to thousands of complaints regarding animals in the municipality.


’If you have a responsible pet owner with four dogs and this passed, then he would have quite a decision to make, wouldn’t he?’
Patrick Murphy Councillor

January 16th, 2008, 08:57 PM
With years of persistance Halifax councillors Mary Wile and Harry McInroy created and forced through a highly unpopular 3 million dollar Cat by law in 2006. She started 2007 off by trying to shut down a doggie daycare after council debated it for 40 minutes, ironically the next topic to debate was concerning human daycare, they only spent 2 minutes on that issue, look for big changes in Halifax council this election year. Here's the news article on it: